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The death toll from ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq has risen to almost 100, according to the country’s parliamentary human rights commission.
The unrest entered its fifth day on Saturday, with five people killed in the latest clashes in Baghdad.
A total of 540 protesters have been arrested, of whom nearly 200 remain in custody, the human rights commission said. It also said more than 3,000 people had been injured.
The security forces are again reported to have used live rounds, according to BBC.com.
Demonstrators say they are taking a stand against unemployment, poor public services and corruption.
The protests are seen as the first major challenge to Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi’s fragile government, nearly a year since he came to power.
‘No magic solution’ to unrest, Iraq PM Mahdi warns
The authorities have been trying to control the protests through curfews and a near-total internet blackout.
An emergency session of parliament failed to go ahead on Saturday afternoon.
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